What kind of BRM are you?

We’ve defined four different IT personality profiles: The Accountant, The Butler, The Nanny and the Agent. Each one varies based on how much focus they put on understanding the business and how important user satisfaction is to them.

The business relationship management (BRM) role is to act as a conduit between IT and the business. But of course, the specific of their role will depend on the type of IT department. An IT department focused on high-touch service (like a  Butler) will require much more involvement from the BRM than an IT organization focused on cost control (like an Accountant).

We’ve identified the impact of each different IT families on the role of the BRM.


The Accountant is focused on reducing and controlling IT costs. BRM in Accountant-type IT departments tend to try to minimize the number of projects. They do this by enforcing different layers of paperwork and red tape to dissuade business stakeholders from submitting initiatives.

BRM are not involved in the clients operations.


The Butler is focused on delivering high level of customer service. BRMs in the Butler role will first and foremost ensure that the stakeholders are satisfied with the basic IT services. They will tend focus on identifying the projects that the business wants to undertake.

BRM will typically meet the clients regularly to monitor satisfaction and identify potential issues.


The Nanny knows what’s best for the users. A BRM in a Nanny-type organization will spend most of its time telling the business units which projects are coming up. Although there might be some back and forth on business needs, most of the decisions are made within IT.

BRMs are not significantly involved with the business in the remainder of the year, except to emphasize the need for process compliance.


The Agent is focused on empowering its users. A BRM in an Agent-type organization will first focus on ensuring that stakeholders are making the most of existing IT services and assets. It will then begin a planning process to define both the needs of the different stakeholders and of the overall organization. finally, it will identify solutions that meet these needs through an organized strategic planning process.

The BRM typically plays a constant role in the business’ unit planning process. BRM are often involved on business committees and have a trusted advisor relationship with decision makers.


A business relationship manager need to reflect the type of organization to be effective. A high-touch BRM working in an Accountant IT organization will create dissatisfaction when it keeps saying no to new initiatives.


  • BRMs role vary significantly depending on the type of family

  • Alignment between the BRM style and IT family is critical
Posted on October 18, 2013 .